Uncategorized / 7 posts found

Concussions

The Challenge of Head Injuries & Concussions, in Contact Sports, to Modern-Day Society

by Dr Curt Balch
The Challenge of Head Injuries & Concussions, in Contact Sports, to Modern-Day Society Recent studies have greatly increased public awareness of specific sports injuries, particularly traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). To be more specific, TBIs are more than just consuccions. Overall, accidents are the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S., with over 22% of those (~%50,000) related to TBIs (1). While all-cause TBIs have increased in recent years, particular attention has been directed toward sports-related TBIs, and in particular, brain risk in professional athletes in the American National Football League (NFL). In 2016, the NFL settled a $1 billion lawsuit […]
Epigenomics of Colon Cancer

Epigenomics of Colon Cancer

by Dr Curt Balch
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Epigenomics of Colon Cancer Many of the mutated genes (“driver”) involved in the progression of colon cancer have now been discovered, resulting in a model for the disease as a sequence of mutational events. However, it is quite rare that all the CRC driver genes are mutated in CRC tumors, and it has now been shown that epigenomic abberations are intimately involved in CRC tumorigenesis, even at its early stages (adenomas and crypt foci). Here, Balch et al. describe how epigenomic anomalies might allow for embryonic pathway activation, necessary for dedifferentiation of normal colon cells into “cancer stem cells,” followed by tumor growth, and […]

Dietary Villains in Cardiovascular Disease- Carbohydrate vs. Fat?

by Dr Curt Balch
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Dietary Villains in Cardiovascular Disease- Carbohydrate vs. Fat? A Tale of Scientific Integrity and Conflicting Research A recent special communication in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), entitled “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents” (1), asserts that the sugar industry (now the Sugar Research Foundation, SRF) likely influenced research to stress the role of dietary fat, rather than sugar, on cardiovascular disease (CVD). For that report, Kearns et al.(1) obtained a myriad of SRF documents, from 1950 to the present, including annual reports, internal research, correspondences with academic researchers, and […]

Cancer- innately incurable or subject to evolutionary resistance?

by Dr Curt Balch
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Cancer- innately incurable or subject to evolutionary resistance? A , recent, provocative commentary, “What if Cancer Simply Can’t be Cured?” (November 15, 2016), authored by the freelance writer, Melissa Pandike, was recently posted on the web newsletter ozy.com. This article, a news report of a published research manuscript (Tomislav Domazet-Lošo et al., 2014) in the well-renowned journal Nature Communications, reported that one of the most ancient (over 100 million years ago) multicellular organisms, Hydra, develop spontaneous tumors.(1) This finding would strongly suggest that cancer started very early in evolution, representing an ancient cellular process deeply rooted in the “tree of life” itself, provoking questions that efforts […]
how the Zika virus spread

The Threat of the Zika Virus and Development of a Vaccine via

by Dr Curt Balch
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The Threat of the Zika Virus and Development of a Vaccine via the use of “Challenge” Clinical Trials The now well-known, feared mosquito-borne Zika virus, is generally propagated by multiple person bites by a mosquito that is indigenous to tropical and subtropical climates. Zika has also recently entered the United States, with travel-related infections noted in all 50 states, and person-to-person transmission in Florida and Puerto Rico.(1) Consequently, mosquito control and containment measures are intensively underway. While predominantly transmitted from person-to-person by bites from its mosquito carrier, Zika can be also transmitted by sexual relations; this mode has been confirmed in […]

Hints for Successful Bioscientific Writing

by Dr Curt Balch
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Hints for Successful Bioscientific Writing I believe that strong communication skills are the foundation to any relationship or human interaction. Successful communication clearly requires successful “give and take” (in conversations for example, talking and listening). I further feel that the most successful method of “getting one’s point across” is to consider the viewpoint of the receiving party (i.e., empathy). Bearing these considerations, I view the scientific communication used in bioscientific writing as very similar to other forms of discourse, particular with regard to the author’s consideration of the reader of a manuscript, or a speaker’s consideration of the viewpoint of […]
biomedical research

A Role for Consortia in Repairing Current Biomedical Research?

by Dr Curt Balch
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A Role for Consortia in Repairing Current Biomedical Research? Previously, an exquisitely insightful  article, “Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws” (Alberts, Varmus et al.) describes the unsustainability of our current biomedical research environment, as established on the assumption of unlimited growth. Here, a comment by Balch et al., “Science and technology consortia in U.S. biomedical research: A paradigm shift in response to unsustainable academic growth” proposes a role for research consortia in addressing several of said flaws. Please Share: facebook twitter google+ linkedin pinterest instagram });